Monday, May 16, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze

And we're back.

I picked this book because it won the 2011 SID Fleischman Humor Award Winner. After reading it, I packaged it up and I'm sending to my friend's children. A few months ago, my friend's husband, who has been battling cancer for 11 years, died suddenly of a blood infection. Their children are 9 and 8. The oldest, one of my daughter's best friends, has been struggling with the death of her father. I feel this book will bring her and her brother comfort.

Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg
Published in Sept 2010

Other books in the series:
Milo and the Restart Button (releasing sometime in 2011)

The Hook: A couple years after the death of his mother, Milo and his family still struggle to deal with their loss. When Milo's dad gets rid of all the memories of her, Milo must find a way to revive his memory of her.

Why I love this book: Voice and humorous way of dealing with a tough issue. The voice and style are very Wimpy Kid, and Milo is a lovable awkward character. For being about how to cope with death of a parent, the book is very light hearted and clever. Milo is just trying to fit in and get the cute girl to notice him. When Milo's neighbor wakes him up to holding on to the memories of his mother, Milo decides to search garage sales for things that would remind him of her. This is when I started bawling in the book and I could see my friend's children in their struggle with their dad's death. My friend said the one thing they wish they had more of was video of her husband. My heart aches for these children and any child that must cope with the loss of a parent. I would recommend this book to anyone who has lost a parent or someone close to them. This is definitely a boy book but I think girls in a similar situation will appreciate it.


  1. Wow, I haven't even heard of this book! Thoughtful review, Brooke. Good to know another book about loss, especially one that uses humor.

    Other MG novels about loss: Mockingbird is about the death of an older brother, and it's very serious. Umbrella Summer is also about the death of a brother but more light-hearted. Then there's Walk Two Moons, which is a now-classic tale of coming to terms with loss. And Out of the Dust is very intense and oh-so-sad but powerful. It's a verse novel about the death of a mother and the main character's disfiguring accident.

    I'm sure there are lots more, but that's just off the top of my head.

    Thanks for the link, as always!

  2. I haven't heard of this one either, but I like the idea of dealing with something serious and injecting light-heartedness in its midst. Agreeing with Joanne, MOCKINGBIRD, tells of loss and also has the additional insight of a character who lives with Asbergers. A sad but humorous and revealing read.

  3. Thanks for the review. It sounds like it will make me cry - not that that's a bad thing. The Tale of Despereaux always makes me cry because the two girls lose their mothers and their fathers deal with it badly. The part at the end where the princess asks Mig what she wants is making me tear up just thinking about it.

  4. Great choice. The cover reminds me of Wimpy Kid. And I agree with you that a lighter touch is probably better for dealing with death for middle graders. My daughter had a hard time then really dealing with my sister's death. She sort of handled it by not dealing with it and a more humorous touch like this book might have helped her. Hope it helps your friend's kids.

  5. Surprising that it has such a fun cover when it's addressing such a sobering topic. Nice that it has a light touch with the subject, though. So many dead parents in kids books...

  6. This is on my must read list, thanks! And another (and one of my all time favorites) is MICK HARTE WAS HERE by Barbara Park...I highly highly recommend it. Dealing with the death of a brother, and man, Barbara has you roaring with laughter one moment and crying the next. It's one of those book talks I have to steal myself for, I'm not sobbing as I do it. Highly recommend it, I do!

    Oh--Invisible Order is fey-!

  7. Thank you, Brooke for your lovely review of my book. And thank you to all who commented and added suggested titles for anyone seeking fiction that talks about the bereavement process. For me, whether a book is funny or not doesn't matter as much as whether it touches the reader and hopefully helps them grieve and remember just a little bit.

    Alan Silberberg